Public opinion divided after Venice announces entrance fee on day-trippers

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The public opinion on Venice’s decision of collecting entrance fee from day-trippers is divided, with some believing the move will benefit local tourism while others regarding it as unconducive in tackling local tourism’s over-development. 

According to the decision, the cost of visiting Venice will be about ten euros (11.4 U.S. dollars) higher after the implementation of a new entrance fee, which aims at helping defray costs tied to the arrival of millions of tourists each year. However, no fee will be collected from residents of the city, those visiting friends or family, or people arriving in the city for work or study. 

The fee was proposed to throw a lifeline to the beleaguered city, which only has about 54,000 permanent residents, but receives nearly 30 million visitors every year. 

Day-trippers are seen as a massive strain on the city’s ancient architecture and drive up prices much higher for residents. 

“The maintenance costs cannot only be borne by the local residents. We should try to seek a fair solution and let everyone take a share of the cost,” said Mara Manente, director of the International Center of Studies on the Tourism Economy of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. 

Those holding different opinions say the extra charge will be a bit difficult to accept for many tourists, and instead of charging entrance fee, local authorities should focus on improving the city’s public services to address the over-development of tourism.

“People will continue to come, but when they arrive here, they will be surprised to know that they have to pay a entrance fee to get into Venice, to see Venice. The city is already crowded with tourists. But I hope there will be more public services offered in Venice, for example, more public washrooms,” said Tatiana, a Russian tour guide. 

Some others think the entrance fee will ease the burden on Venice since those who are not so willing to visit the city may not come after the implementation of the entrance fee. 

“If we can use it to shut out those tourists who are not so eager to come, I would support the proposal to collect extra money from day-trippers. But at the same time, I think the city should be more ordered,” said Ludovico, a local vendor. 

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